Book Trailers: Are They Worth the Effort?

Greetings, SE’ers! Beem Weeks here with you again. Today, I’m discussing book trailers. Are they worth the effort?


Book trailers, like so much in the indie publishing world, have become a staple of the promotion game. Book trailers can convey the gist of a novel in a matter of a minute or two. The great thing about this tool is that anybody can make one.

Last month I talked a little about audiobooks and the process that goes into such a project. Some readers commented that it sounded difficult or too expensive to undertake such an endeavor. Book trailers are on the opposite end of the cost spectrum.

A book trailer can be put together using free software, like Microsoft Clip Champ (or Movie Maker). Authors can create a suitable trailer using still photos and video clips. Music underneath the action can add tone and emotion. To spell out the story, words can be added on the screen for context.

With a small budget, one can move up on the quality. Replace the written words on the screen with a compelling voiceover. Music and video turn it into a short film telling the world about your latest book.

Even without a budget, voice and music can be mixed onto a single track with free software like Audacity. This is something every author can do with little to no experience in video editing.

Now, on to my question: Are book trailers worth the effort?

Trailers are a popular tool in the marketing game today. Hollywood has used them for decades to promote the latest studio releases. Professionally done, these short clips pull viewers into the film long before it has even been released. This is what we’d like to see for our books. But it doesn’t always work that way.

Trailers add to our marketing toolbox. When done well, they can bring our stories to life for potential readers, which, hopefully, will entice them to buy our latest work. But they aren’t the be-all and end-all. It begins with your YouTube channel (or Rumble, Odysee, and Bitchute, which are alternatives to YouTube). A strong subscriber base is key to your video’s reach. Promotion on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram may lure those who don’t subscribe to your channel over for a look-see. Embed it into your website and blog. Be relentless in sharing the video wherever possible.

Then there’s the use of keywords and hashtags. These ensure your efforts reach your targeted audience. Most authors understand the hard work that goes into marketing. We’re competing with millions of new releases every year. It’s easy to get washed aside by that tidal wave.


To answer my question: Yes. Book trailers are indeed worth the effort. Just take your time and make your video stand out. Know your target audience. Play to them. Keep it short but intriguing. Many readers may not know who you are as an author. They know nothing of your work. Short attention spans will carry the viewer away to the next video if yours falls flat. So be creative and make it pop. And have fun with it.

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70 thoughts on “Book Trailers: Are They Worth the Effort?

  1. Pingback: Book Trailers: Are They Worth the Effort? – BEGINNERS

  2. Wonderful tips and knowledge as well as nice blog post about the book trailers , I have heard of them before but just couldn’t dip my toe into this. This book trailer is one marketing strategy for rising sales and being ahead of the competitors

    Thankfully social media has made is easier for us to learn digital tools and make enough money by using the online target audience as the vehicle for the hitting sales targets🙌🙌🙌

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I would definitely agree that in todays media driven world, even authors can use the a little extra notice through trailers. I am not ashamed to say of late I have found books I want to read through little clips on Tik Tok that piqued my interest enough to purchase the book and give it a read. It’s time to move past judging a book by its cover and judge it by its marketing. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: This Week at Story Empire – Joan Hall

  5. I agree with Beem and enjoyed this article. I have made several book trailers over the years, most of which have been quite amateurish, but you get better the more you do. Some are distantly approaching “Quite good”. At first, they are difficult to do no matter which platform you choose but take some time and you will get there. I am unsure wither they are useful, but they are another advertising tool to use. There is another consequence of them however, as you get the hang of video trailers you will find creating them both irritating and immensely enjoyable.
    I personally like Animoto, Kizoa, YouTube creators and Canva for creation but there are loads out there.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Beem, I would agree with your summary here. Book trailers are relatively easy to make, although like everything in life, not all book trailers are good quality. I don’t think they are a very effective marketing tool unless they offer something unusual which attracts a bigger audience.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great post and suggestions, Beem. Although, I am still learning and finding new ways to do it, there is one for each of my books. Don’t know if it has producted any sales but I feel it is worth the effort to add another way to show what is done.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post, Beem. I couldn’t agree more with your points. I’ve made trailers for about six of my books. They’ve cost me nothing to produce, and though they aren’t perfect, they’ve hooked readers and generated sales. I like sharing them when a book goes on preorder. I make mine with PowerPoint, which is very easy to do. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with you 100%, Beem! Book trailers are a great marketing tool. It’s a way to grab someone’s attention without yelling, “buy my book.” I have recently discovered a whole new medium for creating trailers using Canva. In that application, you are able to insert video clips into the trailer, so there’s movement. I also agree that shorter is better. Anything around one minute seems to work best. Thank you for shining a light on this book marketing tool! Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I’ve made a few book trailers, and it’s so much easier now than it used to be. Recently, I discovered Canva for videos, and this platform makes it incredibly easy and can be done for free of using their subscription Pro service.
    I confess I stuck with words and music for my most recent video trailer. I haven’t yet tried a voice over, but I will do at some point.
    Thanks for sharing. Have a lovely day 💕🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I did a book trailer for my first release but haven’t done one since. It’s something I should consider again. Personally, I’m not a video-watching person, so I think that’s why I always forget about them. Any promotion done well is good promotion, so a trailer would surely be worth the effort!

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Great post, Beem. I’ve been swayed to buy a book because of a trailer. The content and the imagery grab our attention in a different way than the written word, and for that reason alone, it’s worth having a trailer. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am in the same mindset as you, Gwen. I’ve been motivated to buy a book on more than one occasion because of a trailer. They remind me of music videos. I have bought many albums because of the music video. It’s the same concept. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for the excellent summary, Beem. I thought the creation of a book trailer would take too much time and tech skills. Canva changed all that, enabling anyone to make a book trailer worth watching. If anyone has an interest, I put together a short how-to post on my site. Enter “book trailer” in the search box and you’ll see that post and other examples.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. This isn’t something I’ve considered – mainly because I don’t do much with social media because it terrifies me. Having read this, I’d certainly tell others with a following to consider giving it a go. Thanks, Beem. (Er.. this may appear twice because I don’t know if I clicked it through the first time. Like I say, clueless!)

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Pingback: Book Trailers: Are They Worth the Effort? | Legends of Windemere

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